BYU, SMU set for 1st meeting since 1997 in New Mexico Bowl
BYU and SMU will meet in the New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 17. It will be the first meeting between the programs since the 1997 season. The Cougars are a football independent who stopped a four-game midseason losing streak by winning their last three games to become bowl eligible. The Mustangs from the American Athletic Conference have had bowl games the past two seasons wiped out due to COVID-19 issues. BYU is 7-5 under coach Kalani Sitake. SMU is also 7-5 under Rhett Lashlee. The game marks BYU’s 40th appearance in a bowl.
BYU (7-5, Independent) vs. SMU (7-5, American Athletic Conference), Dec. 17, 2:15 p.m. ET
LOCATION: Albuquerque, New Mexico
BYU: QB Jaren Hall. Has thrown for 3,171 yards and 31 touchdowns with six interceptions. Also has run for three scores.
SMU: WR Rashee Rice. Has 96 catches for 1,355 yards and 10 touchdowns. His 112.9 yards receiving per game leads the Bowl Subdivision ranks.
BYU: The Cougars closed the regular season with three straight wins to become bowl eligible after a four-game losing streak through October.
SMU: The Mustangs’ last two bowl bids resulted in games that weren’t played. SMU was unable to play in the Frisco Bowl in 2020 due to COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, while Fenway Bowl opponent Virginia was unable to play last year’s game due to COVID-19 cases on its roster.
BYU 19, SMU 16, OT (Sept. 27, 1997)
BYU: Second appearance in the New Mexico Bowl, fifth straight postseason appearance and 40th overall.
SMU: First appearance in the New Mexico Bowl, fourth straight season with a bowl invitation and 20th overall.